Corporate Wellness

5 steps to introducing an effective wellbeing strategy

31 Mar 2017
Last updated on 1 Jun 2023

Too busy to put wellbeing at the core of your business strategy? The importance of implementing a wellbeing strategy, and putting employee health firmly at the heart of your operation, shouldn’t be underestimated.

Putting a strategy in place can help you reduce absenteeism and retain staff. In one study, workers were 27% more likely to stay with companies for more than five years when they felt that their employer cared about their wellbeing. And according to Britain’s Healthiest Workplace report, employees that are healthier have the equivalent of 30 days of productive time available each year.

In spite of this, a third of businesses have failed to implement an employee wellbeing strategy, and two-thirds don’t even have processes in place to monitor their staff’s mental and physical health.

Don’t be on the back foot when it comes to your employees’ wellbeing, after all, your staff are among your greatest assets. Follow these steps to implementing an effective wellbeing strategy and see how productivity increases.

  1. Define your goals

The key to implementing a wellbeing strategy is to define your goals. Do you want to reduce absence and/or improve performance? What are the measurable outcomes you’re seeking to achieve?

It’s important to assess your specific needs and goals. This will help you tailor your strategy and any initiatives you implement around relevant outcomes.

  1. Strategic overview

How are you currently managing employee health? Are there any benefits or processes in place to measure and encourage health among your workers? Do you see results from your efforts?

  1. Who should be involved?

Who’s involved in the strategy largely depends on the structure and size of your organisation.

For larger firms, you should involve all departments in your wellbeing strategy, including occupational health, health and safety staff, and finance. HR is central, as they will be responsible for monitoring and reporting on health and employee satisfaction, and suggesting any organisational changes that are required.

Of course, management teams must also be on-board. Leadership backing of the strategy is critical. Change must be driven from the top, with influencers actively involved in promoting the positive mental and physical health of employees.

  1. The strategy

There are three core components to a wellbeing strategy: prevention, intervention, and protection.

  • Prevention

    The key is to embed health and fitness into the culture of your business. You could look at common problem areas such as stress, or back pain – areas that can both be exacerbated by issues at work, as well as impact performance.This is all about the preventative measures you can put in place to head off issues before they arise. It could include desk assessment, healthy eating, or subsidised gym membership, for example.

  • Intervention

    This is about picking up on and dealing with issues before they start to impact the individual, their performance and other members of your team.

  • Protection and support

    Although the focus of your strategy is ultimately on preventing health issues at work, if staff do need to take a period of absence, it’s important to give them every assistance to get back to work quickly.Allay their fears with income protection schemes if the worst should happen, and consider back to work interviews to support their return and help prevent health-related absences from occurring again.

  1. Wellbeing initiatives and benefits

Putting the focus on employee wellbeing shows your workers that they are valued. A tangible way to show them that they matter is through benefits and health initiatives.

You might want to consider:

  • Regular employee health screenings.
  • Gym membership.
  • Online health assessment tools (offering information about health and fitness, and to track workers’ progress towards better wellbeing).
  • Wellbeing workshops.

Benefits package to attract more applicants and motivate employees
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Wellhub Editorial Team

The Wellhub Editorial Team empowers HR leaders to support worker wellbeing. Our original research, trend analyses, and helpful how-tos provide the tools they need to improve workforce wellness in today's fast-shifting professional landscape.